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Cold Weather Brewing - Bottle Conditioning

Cold Weather Brewing Just Like in the Summer, right?


For many brewers, both experienced and novices, the cold weather kinda sneaks up on us and gets us when we're not expecting it. A month ago, I bottled two batches of beer, a Belgian Dubble and a Robust Porter. Both set in glass secondaries for two weeks in my cellar. I used Abbey Ale yeast for the Dubble and Irish Ale yeast for the Robust Porter.

After two weeks in the bottle, both were carbonated only slightly. I initially thought maybe the yeast was exhausted following the regular fermentation and the two weeks in the secondary. I made sure that I stirred up some of the yeast from the bottom of the secondary and primed with my usual 5.5 ounces of priming sugar (corn sugar). I cleaned the bottles with PBW and sanitized them with Star-San (non-rinse).

I noticed on the thermometer that the cellar temperature was in the lower 60's. I smiled briefly and shook my head, laughing to myself... The cold weather brewing had snuck up on me again!

To take care of the priming issue, I hauled the bottles up to the kitchen and parked them under the kitchen counter where the temperature was in the upper 60's. I left them there for 2 weeks before popping one of each bottle in the fridge. Two chilled glasses set the stage for the moment I had been waiting for since I first pitched the yeast!

I was pleasantly suprised with the crisp "POP" of the bottle opening! I poured the Robust Porter and admired the frothy head and the "just right" amount of carbonation. The Belgian Dubble was equally properly carbonated.

Brewer - 1 ... Cold Weather - 0